|Publication number||US7675536 B2|
|Application number||US 11/407,261|
|Publication date||Mar 9, 2010|
|Priority date||Apr 19, 2006|
|Also published as||US20070247511|
|Publication number||11407261, 407261, US 7675536 B2, US 7675536B2, US-B2-7675536, US7675536 B2, US7675536B2|
|Inventors||Franklin Joseph Palumbo, Darin M. Gettelfinger, Francis Foldes, Jr., Steven David Sieckowski, Paul Douglas Horrall, Reginald Keith Bethel|
|Original Assignee||Lexmark International, Inc.|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (82), Referenced by (6), Classifications (14), Legal Events (2)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
The present application is directed to architectures for image forming devices and, more specifically, to architectures of a base printer and a scanning mechanism to provide printing, faxing, scanning, and copying capabilities.
A printer, such as a color laser printer, produces images on a media sheet that passes along a media path. The printer may further include additional functionality to also fax, scan, and copy. A single device that includes these functions is often referred to as an all-in-one (AIO) or multi-functional image forming device.
One drawback to previous multi-functional devices is their relatively large size. The additional components necessary for the additional functionality causes an increase in the overall size of the device. The overall size is an important aspect for consumers when purchasing a device. Workspace, such as a desk top, is often limited and is not able to accommodate a large device. Further, larger devices are more difficult to physically lift and move around ones workspace. Smaller devices are more convenient for moving and positioning in new locations.
Another purchasing aspect for multi-functional devices is their ease of use. Input areas for inserting media sheets into the device and output areas for receiving sheets from the device should be positioned in accessible locations. The locations should provide for straight-forward loading and unloading of the media sheets without moving the device.
Another purchasing aspect is the overall cost of the device. The architecture of the devices should not greatly affect the cost of the device. An architecture that causes an increase in the overall cost may be a detriment to a consumer.
The present application is directed to multi-function image forming devices. In one embodiment, the device includes a base color laser printer comprising a front side, a back side, a top, and a bottom. The color laser printer further includes a media path, a laser printhead, a plurality of image forming units, and a plurality of toner reservoirs. A scanning mechanism comprising a scan bed is mounted on the top of the base color laser printer. In one embodiment, the media path includes a first section positioned within the base color laser printer and a second section that extends between the scanning mechanism and the top of the base color laser printer. In one embodiment, the scanning mechanism is pivotally mounted to the base color laser printer and movable to access the plurality of toner reservoirs.
The present application is directed to multi-functional devices including a base printer and a scanning mechanism that together provide printing, faxing, scanning, and copying capabilities. The multi-functional devices include an architecture that minimizes an overall size. The architecture may also provide straight-forward access to the input and output ports, and also not negatively affect the overall cost of the device.
In one embodiment, the multi-functional device includes a base printer that receives a scanning device. The base printer may be a stand-alone device that is able to produce mono or color images. The scanning device is adapted to mount to the base printer and combine the functionality of the base printer with the functionality of scanning device. The combined multi-functional device is able to print, scan, fax, and copy. Further, the combined device has a small overall size and accessible work areas.
In one embodiment, the base printer 20 may be sold as a complete separate unit for printing images on media sheets. Further, the base printer 20 may be slightly modified to accept the scanning mechanism 50 and thereby add fax, scan, and copy functionality. Separate components may therefore not be necessary because of the ability of the base printer 20 to receive the scanning mechanism 50.
As illustrated in
Media path 30 further includes a second transfer area 32 where toner images on an intermediate transfer belt 43 are transferred to a media sheet. The media sheet receives the toner image while passing through a nip formed between a second transfer roll 36 and support roll 59. A fuser 33 is positioned downstream along the media path 30 for fusing the toner onto the media sheet. A section of the media path 30 between the input tray 13 and the discharge rollers 34 is positioned in proximity to the front 14 of the base printer 20. In one embodiment, the second transfer area 32 and the fuser 33 are positioned along this vertical section.
Discharge rollers 34 are located downstream from the fuser 33 and may be rotated in either forward or reverse. In a forward direction, the discharge rollers 34 move the media sheet from the base printer 20 and into a second section 60 of the media path 30. In a reverse direction, the discharge rollers 34 move the media sheet into a duplex path 37. Duplex path 37 includes a series of rollers for moving the media sheet to a point upstream from the second transfer area 32 for receiving a toner image on a second side of the media sheet. In one embodiment, the duplex path 37 is positioned between the front 14 of the base printer 20 and the vertical section of the media path 30. A feed path 90 may be positioned on the front 14 of the base printer 20 to move media sheets to the second transfer area 32. In one embodiment, feed path 90 includes an inlet 91 for inserting the media sheets and one or more rollers 92 that move the sheets to the second transfer area 32. In one embodiment, the inlet 91 is positioned within the input tray 13.
As illustrated in
The base printer 20 may also include an image formation area 40 including a laser printhead 41, one or more image forming units 42, and an intermediate transfer member 43. Laser printhead 41 includes a laser that discharges a surface of photoconductive members 44 within each of the image forming units 42. In one embodiment, each of the image forming units 42 includes a photoconductive member 44, and a developer member. The image forming units 42 may further include a toner adder member to move toner to the developer member. In one embodiment, four separate image forming units 42 are included within the base printer 20. In one embodiment, each image forming unit 42 is substantially the same.
In one embodiment, a toner reservoir 77 is operatively connected to each of the image forming units 42. The toner reservoirs 77 are sized to contain toner that is transferred to the image forming units 42 during image formation. The toner reservoirs 77 may be mounted and removed from the base printer 20 independently from the image forming units 42. In one embodiment, the toner reservoirs 77 each contain one of black, magenta, cyan, or yellow toner. In one embodiment, each of the toner reservoirs 77 is substantially the same. In another embodiment, the toner reservoirs 77 include different capacities. In one specific embodiment, the toner reservoir that contains black toner has a higher capacity.
In one embodiment as illustrated in
The intermediate transfer member 43 extends continuously around a series of rollers 59. The member 43 receives the toner images from each of the photoconductive members 44 and moves the images to the second transfer area 32 where the toner images are transferred to the media sheet.
In the embodiment illustrated, the base printer 20 is a color laser printer. Examples of the base printer 20 include Model Nos. C750 and C752, each available from Lexmark International, Inc. of Lexington, Ky., USA. In another embodiment, the base printer 20 is a mono printer comprising a single image forming unit 42 for forming toner images in a single color. In another embodiment, the base printer 20 is a direct transfer device that transfers the toner images from the one or more photoconductive members 44 directly to the media sheet.
The scanning mechanism 50 provides for faxing, scanning, and copying images. As illustrated in
In one embodiment, scanning mechanism 50 includes a scan head and a light source that illuminates the scanning bed 52. The scan head moves across the scanning bed 52 and captures light that bounces off a document that is placed on the scanning bed 52. A set of mirrors are used to send the reflected light from the media sheet to a lens. The lens focuses the light onto light sensitive diodes that then translate the amount of light into an electric current. An analog to digital converter stores the voltage readings indicating the image of the document. The digital information is sent to a controller, seen in
In one embodiment as illustrated in
A second section 60 of the media path 30 is positioned between the top of the base printer 20 and a bottom of the scanning mechanism 50. The second section 60 includes one or more rollers 61 that move the media sheet from the discharge rollers 34 to an output tray 16 positioned at a top, back of the device 10. In one embodiment, the output tray 16 is positioned at an acute angle relative to the base printer 20 to minimize the overall size of the device 10. In one specific embodiment, the output tray 16 is at an angle of about 60° relative to the base printer 20.
A controller 100 oversees the functioning of the device 10 as illustrated in
The embodiments illustrated in
The scanning mechanism 50 may scan a single side of a document. Scanning mechanism 50 may also include a duplex path for scanning a second side of a document.
As used herein, the terms “having”, “containing”, “including”, “comprising” and the like are open ended terms that indicate the presence of stated elements or features, but do not preclude additional elements or features. The articles “a”, “an” and “the” are intended to include the plural as well as the singular, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise. The present invention may be carried out in other specific ways than those herein set forth without departing from the scope and essential characteristics of the invention. In one embodiment, an overall height of the device 10 is less than an overall depth. The present embodiments are, therefore, to be considered in all respects as illustrative and not restrictive, and all changes coming within the meaning and equivalency range of the appended claims are intended to be embraced therein.
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|U.S. Classification||347/263, 399/110, 347/170, 399/111, 347/108|
|International Classification||G01D15/06, B41J2/435, G03G21/16, B41J29/13, G03G15/00|
|Cooperative Classification||G03G15/6529, G03G21/1638|
|European Classification||G03G15/65F, G03G21/16|
|Apr 19, 2006||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: LEXMARK INTERNATIONAL, INC., KENTUCKY
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:PALUMBO, FRANKLIN JOSEPH;GETTELFINGER, DARIN M.;FOLDES, JR., FRANCIS;AND OTHERS;REEL/FRAME:017803/0832;SIGNING DATES FROM 20060418 TO 20060419
Owner name: LEXMARK INTERNATIONAL, INC.,KENTUCKY
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:PALUMBO, FRANKLIN JOSEPH;GETTELFINGER, DARIN M.;FOLDES, JR., FRANCIS;AND OTHERS;SIGNING DATES FROM 20060418 TO 20060419;REEL/FRAME:017803/0832
|Aug 14, 2013||FPAY||Fee payment|
Year of fee payment: 4